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Solar Impulse 2 Forced to Suspend Record-Setting Global Trip

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:15 PM

The Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane that was traveling around the world, suspended its record-setting flight in Hawaii Wednesday after learning the aircraft suffered battery damage while over the Pacific Ocean.

The Solar Impulse team broke the announcement Wednesday morning on social media and in a statement.



The airplane's battery reportedly overheated while on the latest and most difficult leg of the trip that took the solar plane and pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg from Nagoya, Japan, to Hawaii, according to the Solar Impulse 2 website. The plane hopes to continue flying in April.

The website stated that the battery damage was not caused by a technical failure or related to the technology of the aircraft, instead attributed to an "evaluation error" and the cooling design specification of the batteries.

"During the first ascent on day one of the flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, the battery temperature increased due to a high climb rate and an over insulation of the gondolas," according to the Solar Impulse website.

"While the Mission Team was monitoring this very closely during the flight, there was no way to decrease the temperature for the remaining duration as each daily cycle requires an ascent to 28,000 feet and descent for optimal energy management. Overall the airplane performed very well during the flight," the website statement continued.

ABC News wrote that the Solar Impulse 2 operates on 17,000 solar cells and it collects sunlight to keep the plane's batteries charged. The aircraft was developed to fly using its stored energy.

Borschberg told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he wanted to meet energy stakeholders on the island state to show off the aircraft's technology.

"We have some work to do, as I'm sure other people will be interested to see the update and discuss these technologies," he said. "But there is no way that we shouldn't try surfing."

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The Solar Impulse 2, the solar-powered plane that was traveling around the world, suspended its record-setting flight in Hawaii Wednesday after learning the aircraft suffered battery damage while over the Pacific Ocean.
solar impulse 2, solar, plane, trip, suspended
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2015-15-15
Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:15 PM
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